Remember yesterday morning when in my layman’s refutation of Attorney General Rob McKenna’s lawsuit, I suggested that the federal home mortgage interest deduction would be an apt analogy to the implementation of the insurance mandate in our new health care reform law? Well later that day, that’s exactly the analogy that University of Washington law professor and constitutional expert Stewart Jay used to refute McKenna’s argument that the insurance mandate is somehow unprecedented:
“They are giving you tax benefits for entering the private market in some fashion. So for example, I get to deduct the cost of my mortgage – with a private bank – on my income taxes every year. In effect, I’m strongly encouraged to buy a home. So that’s the whole point of the deduction,” Jay said. “The fact that (people) are being encouraged to buy private instead of public insurance is an extraordinary argument for a Republican to make. If what he’s saying is true, the problem is corrected by eliminating private insurers from the system.”
Huh. So the question is, if the analogy is so obvious that even a layman like me could see, why can’t McKenna? Is he that bad a lawyer, or is he simply being disingenuous in claiming a loftier goal behind such obvious political grandstanding?